Students were catapulting through finals of their class because their teacher, Brian Simpson, assigned the activity of slinging baseballs at stuffed animals.

Catapulting Through FinalsSimpson teaches Principles of Engineering, where the students learned to build catapults.

The curriculum Simpson uses is from Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit group that promotes STEM classes by writing and distributing K-12 curriculum.

“We try to do something different every year because we don’t want it to get stale,” Simpson said. “We’re still teaching the same principles and math behind it.”

“This class is all about problem solving,” Simpson said. “All of the projects we do are about that.”

The class was assisted this year by engineers from Gordon Composites, a local Montrose manufacturing company. The company also donated materials.

“There’s no textbook for this project telling you what to do, no step-by-step guidelines,” said engineer Gatt. “You have to know how to think, which isn’t as common as it used to be.”

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Catapulting Through Finals